Tuesday, 28 March 2017

MPOV: Hacksaw Ridge

My rating: 3.5/5
IMDb rating: 8.2/10
Released: November 2, 2016
Director: Mel Gibson
Casts: Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn, Luke Bracey, Sam Worthington
Category: A 2016 biographical war drama film

As a young boy, Desmond Doss nearly kills his younger brother Hal. This experience and his Seventh-day Adventist upbringing reinforce Desmond's belief in the commandment "Thou shalt not kill". Years later, Doss (Andrew Garfield) takes an injured man to the hospital and meets a nurse, Dorothy Schutte (Teresa Palmer). The two begin a relationship and Doss tells Dorothy of his interest in medical work.

At the outbreak of World War II, Doss is motivated to enlist in the Army and intends to serve as a combat medic. His father Tom (Hugo Weaving), a troubled World War I veteran, is deeply upset by the decision. Before leaving for Fort Jackson, he asks for Dorothy's hand in marriage and she accepts.

Doss is placed under the command of Sergeant Howell (Vince Vaughan). He excels physically but becomes an outcast among his fellow soldiers for refusing to handle a rifle and train on Saturdays. Howell and Captain Glover (Sam Worthington) attempt to discharge Doss for psychiatric reasons but fail. They subsequently torment Doss by putting him through grueling labor, intending to get Doss to leave of his own accord. Despite being beaten one night by his fellow soldiers, he refuses to identify his attackers and continues training.

The above taken from Wikipedia.

Firstly, I was intrigued by the story line of a hero who went to war without a gun. Then I found out that it's quite gory. But then, it is a war movie so I guess it's part and parcel of such category. Though slow at the start, the movie progresses with great intent and the graphic details were truly realistic! So real that I had to look away lah when those gory parts came on. I liked the ending when they showed the real Desmond Doss and some of the other war veterans. Definitely a good movie to watch albeit a little towards Christianity and all. It's Desmond's believe so Amen to that. In the end, I was surprised that it was directed by Mel Gibson. Imagine that! Salud!

Monday, 27 March 2017

MPOV: Dragon-i

My rating: 2/5
Location: G1-43 Ground Floor Sunway Pyramid
Type: non-halal

Hubs suddenly craved for 'xiu loong pau' aka 'small dragon dumpling' after watching Anthony Bourdain in Hong Kong =.= So we chance upon Dragon-i, apparently famous for this delicacy. However, our experience here had us re-looked at our options as this is definitely off our list in the future.

It was busy when we arrived but not 100% packed yet so we were quickly ushered to a table for 2. So when we were ready to order, we had to wait a while as no one seemed to be free to take orders and when we finally caught someone's eye to order, she gave me an impatient glare to wait. I was like WTF?! Ok, never mind... we waited patiently and she finally came over to take our order. While placing the order, she spoke so soft... apparently for her own hearing... and hubs had to verify a few times as he couldn't hear what she was asking even though she's standing next to him =.=
Anyway, drinks came...
Chinese tea RM3 (refillable) and winter melon RM6.50
Finally noodle came... tasty with lots of ingredients... not bad lah
Fried la mien RM22
This was shocking... such miserable, small and cold dumplings...
Shanghai small dragon dumpling RM11.50
Jelly fish with sliced pig shank RM20
Steam rice RM19
Overall, the food was not as good as we thought it would be. Nothing much to holler about. Maybe our expectations were high after many rave reviews but it turned out the opposite for us. Also, the waitress didn't bother to recommend their deal or dish of the day... suddenly I saw this RM1 chicken promo on the next table =.=

Our total bill was not cheap... paying for an expensive meal but getting a so so service and so so food. Thankfully it was fresh. Total was RM92.40 also inclusive of 2 wet towels, 10% service charge and 6% GST! Maybe we started off with the wrong footing but this is definitely a once in a lifetime experience... not a once in a blue moon treat one... first and last for me for sure.

Friday, 24 March 2017

CSM: Flea-esta @ Summit USJ

We'll be back this Sunday, 26/03/2017, at Summit USJ Mall from 11am to 7pm! So do drop by and check out our new arrivals ya! Come one, come all!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

MPOV: The Interior (Red Princess #2)

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3.7/5
Published: 1999
Preceded by: Flower Net
Followed by: Dragon Bones
Author: Lisa See
Genre: mystery, historical fiction, thriller

In our world, two years have passed since the publication of Flower Net, Lisa See's debut in thriller fiction, but as The Interior begins, only a few months have passed since Liu Hulan, a detective in Communist China's Ministry of Public Security, and U.S. Attorney David Stark first teamed up to catch a murderer--and rekindled their old love affair. Now, as David struggles to find a way to get back to China--or convince Hulan to move to America--Hulan goes to the village of Da Shui at the request of an old friend whose daughter has been murdered. Initial evidence suggests that it may have something to do with the nearby factory owned by an American toy manufacturer, where hundreds of Chinese women are working in sweatshop conditions. Meanwhile, David's old law firm has suddenly offered him an opportunity to head its new Beijing office, where one of his first duties will be to help one of the firm's corporate clients complete his purchase of the toy company. See's descriptions of daily Chinese life, both in Beijing and the far outposts of the country, are richly detailed. But the novel's even greater strength lies in the contests of will between David and Hulan and their various adversaries--as well as between each other, as Hulan struggles against what she perceives as a threat to her independence, and David must withhold critical information from his partner because it comes from one of his clients. While it certainly helps to have read Flower Net, The Interior is a surefooted exotic thriller in its own right, which will undoubtedly earn Lisa See as many new fans as the old ones it pleases.

The above taken from Goodreads.

It started off slow and I was lightly surprised it was actually book 2 of a trilogy. I honestly didn't know that but it was all right as it did bounce back and forth so I wasn't that lost except for the gist of it's actual drama. So the book did some fishing here and there to entice me to read book 1 which I think I may not want to as of now.

All of a sudden, it reminded me of Nora Roberts' Death series LOL! With a male and female protagonists, it's similar but this version is milder and more cultural. Honestly, I can actually imagine it on TV with Criminal Minds' Thomas Gibson as David and Marvel Agents of Shield's Ming-na Wen as Hulan... ideal right?

Midway it got slower and I tend to skip/ speed read more. In fact, Lisa See had plotted many details into the story, making it as realistic as possible. I guess I wasn't as patient to read it so speeding through as I was looking forward to the ending which turned out differently and it was a little unexpected for me. Also, in my opinion, a blend of Angela Lansbury's Murder She Wrote + Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot spiffed the ending LOL!

Overall, it was a good read with well thought plots. Lisa See managed to blend in the east and west, making the story as entertaining and culturally correct.

Monday, 20 March 2017

MPOV: Kemaman Classic Kopitiam

My rating: 2/5
Type: Halal
Location: 2FK002, 2nd Floor, Main Place Mall, USJ 21
My dinner: Nasi Kerabu Ayam RM10.90
Hub's dinner: Tilapia Penyet RM11.90
Our total bill was RM22.80 including 6% GST. The pricing is in a set which included a glass of iced rose syrup each. Food was so-so for us as it was kinda bland. The meat was kinda tough too. I guess the spicy sambal was supposed to compensate the taste but I still find that my keropok ikan was the best and the tastiest! Overall a little disappointed with the food as the environment, though simple, was really cosy.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

MPOV: Kong: Skull Island

My rating: 4/5
IMDb rating: 7.1/10
Released: March 10, 2017
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Casts: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L.Jackson, John Goodman, John C.Reilly
Category: PG-13; A 2017 American monster/ fantasy/ science fiction film

In 1944, during World War II, two fighter pilots—Hank Marlow and Gunpei Ikari—parachute onto an island in the South Pacific after a dogfight. They both engage in close combat, with Ikari gaining the upper hand. A large behemoth monster suddenly interrupts the fight, causing both soldiers to stare in shock and flee.

In 1973, former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad is hired by U.S. government agent Bill Randa to guide an expedition to map out an island known as "Skull Island". Randa also recruits the Sky Devils, a Vietnam veteran helicopter squadron led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard and prominently made up of his right-hand, Major Jack Chapman and Captain Earl Cole to escort them to the island. The group is soon joined by pacifist photojournalist Mason Weaver, who plans to expose it, believing it's a secret military operation with dark purposes.

Arriving on Skull Island, Packard's men begin dropping explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks to determine if the ground is hollow, despite Conrad's objections. The helicopters are suddenly attacked by a 100 foot-tall bipedal ape known as "Kong", and many are destroyed, with the survivors split into two groups. The survivors' only hope for rescue is a resupply team that will meet them at the island's northern end in three days time. Randa reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch to Packard and the expedition's real purpose: to acquire proof of the existence of forgotten monsters, fearing that they may soon return to take back the world from humanity.

In May 2016, Warner Bros. announced that Godzilla vs. Kong would be released on May 29, 2020.

The above taken from Wikipedia.

So, after so many remakes of King Kong, this one comes as no surprise... plots were similar to Jurassic Park + King Kong + Ultraman mesh-ups. However, the scenaries, the CGIs, the actions were truly enthralling and entertaining to watch. Not forgetting the fantastic casts especially Tom Hiddleston... gone were Loki days and totaly replaced by this current character, Conrad. Lots of brutal/ gory scenes this time around and the best part, one of the monsters reminded me of Miss Peregrine's Home of Peculiar Children's monster but in 2 legged form.

In summary, like most movies nowadays, it's about human's cruelty to mother nature, endangering the eco-system and sub-conciously killing the earth. So next, Godzilla vs Kong in 2020! Btw, there is a post credit trailer right at the end ya... relating to the sequel.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

MPOV: xXx: Return of Xander Cage

My rating: 3/5
IMDb rating: 5.4/10
Released: January 20, 2017
Director: D. J. Caruso
Casts: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson
Category: PG-13; A 2017 American action film

Agent Augustus Gibbons attempts to recruit footballer Neymar Jr. for the xXx program when a satellite crashes in Brazil, apparently killing them both. Shortly afterwards, a team of four skilled individuals led by Xiang infiltrates the highly guarded CIA headquarters in order to retrieve "Pandora's Box", a device which is capable of controlling satellites to crash at specific locations as warheads. CIA Agent Jane Marke tracks down former xXx operative Xander Cage, who faked his death and has been living in self-imposed exile in the Dominican Republic, and convinces him to return to active service to retrieve the device.

After enlisting an old friend, Ainsley, for help, Cage tracks down the attackers to the Philippines. A unit of Special Forces operatives led by Paul Donovan is assigned to help Xander, but he rejects them in favour of his own team, composed of sharpshooter Adele Wolff, DJ Harvard "Nicks" Zhou, and getaway driver Tennyson "The Torch." They are also aided by introverted weapons specialist Becky Clearidge. The team locates Xiang and his teammates Serena, Talon and Hawk, and Cage meets Xiang in an underground nightclub on a remote island, where Xiang reveals that his team are all part of the xXx program, recruited by Gibbons. He claims to have stolen Pandora's Box to prevent its misuse, although Serena believes they should destroy it.

Shortly after, Russian soldiers raid the island. The group manages to fend off the attackers, while Xiang manages to escape with Pandora's Box. Xander intercepts Xiang and chases him to a nearby beach. Serena betrays him, destroys the Box and joins Xander's team, while Xiang escapes and regroups with Talon & Hawk. After another satellite crash in Russia, Marke determines that the device that Serena destroyed was only a prototype, and that both teams have been wasting time, while Cage determines that CIA Director Anderson is involved in the conspiracy and that the actual Pandora's Box is in his hands.

In an interview with Variety published January 2017, Diesel revealed that Paramount has already contacted him about returning for a fourth film, even going so far as asking him if he and other cast members would be willing to get to work sometime in May.

The above taken from Wikipedia.

For a moment, I thought this is the last of the series since all the casts returned towards the end. However, the fourth film is in the making apparently so I was wrong. I kinda enjoyed this as they had an international all star casts working together which was interesting to watch. Same old predictable plots but the action packed ones were worth it. Nice fighting stunts liven up the movie. So I wonder what would be in store for the fourth film.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

MPOV: Dark Peril (Dark Carpathians #21)

My rating: 2/5
Goodreads rating: 4.27
Released: September 9, 2010
Author: Christine Feehan
Genre: paranormal romance, fantasy, adult fiction


Dominic of the Dragonseeker lineage, one of the most powerful lines the Carpathian people has, ingests vampire blood laces with parasites in order to be able to go the very heart of the enemy camp and learn their plans. It is a one way mission. He knows he has little time once the parasites and the blood go to work. He plans to get in fast, relay the information to the leader of the Carpathians living in the area and go out fighting -- an honorable way to end his life.

Solange Sangria is one of the last of the jaguar people, a royal pureblood. Her people, once many are now nearly extinct, a dying species that cannot recover from the choices they made over hundreds of years. She has long been alone, fighting to save the remaining women who are able to shift, from the hands of Brodrick the Terrible, her own father who slaughtered her family and everyone she loved. Wounded, weary, she plans one last battle, hoping to stop the man who has made an alliance with the vampires, accepting she will not come out alive.

They are two warriors who have lived their lives alone. Now, at the end of their time, they find each other, a complication, neither saw coming.

The above taken from Goodreads.

I think I'm on a roll here with books which are not my cup of tea. Another first read from this author and it turns out to be book 21! What is it about book series that turned me off? After chapter 5, I just had to skip straight to the last chapter and finished it. Expected ending with much sex to seal the end of the story. I can safely say book series are a no no for me and it did seemed a little long-winded with repetitive plots. I do applaud Christine Feehan though for being able to sustain creatively and written 30 books for this Dark Carpathians series!!! Anyway, this book did reminds me of Twilight/ Mortal Instruments, in another aspect of vampire/ werewolf/ shape-shifter saga. Sorry Carpathians fans, this is just my point of view!

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